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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thinking about: "Getting In Tune" by The Who

The 1971 song “Getting In Tune” (written by Pete Townshend) of The Who begins:

I'm singing this note 'cause it fits in well
With the chords I'm playing
I can't pretend there's any meaning here
Or in the things I'm saying
But I'm in tune


As the song progresses, one notices a deep longing from the writer who struggles to find the words he really wants to say. His longing sounds almost spiritual.

I've got it all here in my head
There's nothing more needs to be said
I'm just bangin' on my old piano
I'm getting in tune with the straight and narrow


He’s tired, dissatisfied with life the way it is: hanging out in the same old places, seeing the same people, pretending that everything’s fine. He thinks the object of his attention is “baby” (a woman), but his dissatisfaction becomes evident in “The Song Is Over”, revealing that a woman will not fulfill his deepest longing.

When I walked in through the door
Thought it was me I was looking for
She was the first song I ever sang
But it stopped as soon as it began


“Getting In Tune” is just one example of a person whose conscience is screaming that we desire a relationship with someone greater. One cannot adjust to the correct pitch musically without hearing the correct pitch, or having an indicator that the correct pitch is achieved. We tune to something greater. My electronic tuner shows an orange light if my string is too low and a red light if it is too high. I get a green light when I am in tune. The tone is very specific, “straight and narrow” one might say.

What does that mean, the “straight and narrow”? Pete borrows the term from Jesus who said, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” [Matthew 7:13-14 ESV]

The kid knows that if he tunes in with the way of life, he will be alright. He knows there is someone outside himself to focus on because that person has placed that longing within him. He seems to want to try . . . but time will tell.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil--this is God's gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” [Ecc 3:11-14 ESV]

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